EXCALIBUR Legal and Litigation Support Case Studies
The EXCALIBUR partners / staff are proud to have been part of the following successful legal and litigation support projects exemplifying the experience EXCALIBUR personnel bring its environmental law clients.
Case 1: Technical Litigation Support, International Cosmetics Manufacturer, NJ
EXCALIBUR was retained by counsel on behalf of one of the world’s largest perfume and cosmetics manufacturers, to identify technical evidence vindicating client from environmental allegations and potentially significant environmental liabilities. EXCALIBUR was brought on board as the legal team’s technical expert after the company was identified by the NJDEP as a potentially responsible party (PRP) at a third party site contaminated with a variety of chemicals. The basis of the allegation was the disposal of non-hazardous wastewater from the client’s plant at the contaminated site. Unbeknownst to the client, the hauler they had retained to appropriately dispose of the waste illegally dumped the waste at an unpermitted facility.Read More
EXCALIBUR’s expert defense presented to the NJ prosecutor’s office was sufficiently compelling that the client was not required to sign the Consent Order or fund any of the ensuing site characterization/cleanup efforts. Additionally, the Prosecutor solicited the EXCALIBUR team leader as a potential expert for the State on unrelated environmental projects.
Case 2: Conoco-Phillips, Santa Monica Water Supply MTBE Litigation Support
EXCALIBUR was retained by counsel for Conoco-Phillips, listed by the USEPA as a potentially responsible party (PRP) in a high-profile litigation case in California where metropolitan municipal drinking water at the Charnock well field were closed due to MTBE contamination in groundwater. Conoco-Phillips was one of 13 companies ordered by California to provide an alternate source of drinking water for Santa Monica. EXCALIBUR supported its client’s defense by providing expertise in technology evaluations for treatment of residual soil impacts at the alleged Conoco-Phillips contributing source of the groundwater impacts. EXCALIBUR provided the legal team expert opinions on feasibility, effectiveness and design of soil vapor extraction, six-phase heating and patterned drilling / excavation design alternatives.Read More
Case 3: Litigation Support for Environmental Issues Arising From Real Estate Transfer
EXCALIBUR prepared and defended expert opinion on whether the environmental due diligence reports prepared by the plaintiff’s consultant were or were not reasonably consistent with the requirements of and in accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “all appropriate inquiry” rule as embodied in the ASTM International Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process. EXCALIBUR also provided expert opinion on whether the historical uses of and potential contamination liability associated with the subject parcels had been reasonably, prudently, and fully evaluated before the land leases had been negotiated and executed by the plaintiff.Read More
Case 4: Technical UST Closure Insurance Reimbursement Appeals, Multiple Sites
EXCALIBUR State of Pennsylvania attorneys with objective technical opinions on a full range of environmental engineering, consulting, forensics, cost estimating, remediation and site restoration issues within the environmental practice and expertise of EXCALIBUR staff. The expert opinions are given relevant to appeals to claims reimbursement decisions. When EXCALIBUR is asked to become involved disputes often involve hundreds of thousands of dollars in questionable reimbursement claims for work deemed to have been unnecessary or inappropriate, overly expensive, poorly documented, or otherwise potentially not justified by Claimants.Read More
To date, EXCALIBUR has successfully helped Pennsylvania attorneys, legal appeals staff and Claims Investigators definitively establish the technical merits and justification for denial of payments totaling millions of dollars.
Case 5: Failed Flexible Connector Pollution Litigation Defense Support
EXCALIBUR was retained by corporate counsel for an international engineering and construction firm facing multi-million dollar claims alleging significant liabilities associated with removal/replacement of 140 flexible UST pipe connection systems and subsurface remediation at several fuel depots owned by a large Pennsylvania municipality. As part of the defense team, EXCALIBUR’s timely, broad-based technical oversight contributed greatly to the case. With little time to spare, EXCALIBUR’s contributions to the defense included providing a national corrosion expert to support the team’s efforts and developing detailed spreadsheet databases and summary matrices described by the client later as a key litigation tool that greatly helped “to separate the wheat from the chaff” in support of the case.Read More
Case 6: PRP Defense in Lawsuit Filed by Public Water Supply Purveyor in PA
In a case involving the sudden spillage of thousands of gallons of gasoline and subsequent impact to nearby surface water and the municipal water supply well field, EXCALIBUR was on the team mounting a strong technical defense and optimal settlement with the water purveyor who had brought forward a civil suit in US District Court. In the process, EXCALIBUR was retained in several capacities by various parties (the site owner, outside counsel, and an insurance entity) to serve as the environmental engineering/remediation contractor, technical expert and fact witness. The water purveyor claimed expenses and extensive damages in treatment and monitoring costs in providing over 400,000 gallons of clean water each day to the town.Read More
EXCALIBUR’s support to the legal team and to the PRP in quickly addressing the spill led to settlement favorable to the defense. EXCALIBUR is currently in the final stages of demonstrating attainment of the strict state cleanup standards.
Case 7: PRP Defense in Lawsuit Filed by Public Water Supply Purveyor in PA
This case involved helping a national law firm on behalf of a manufacturing client defend itself against unsubstantiated claims at a pending Superfund site in New England. EXCALIBUR was retained as an expert to review and comment on technical opinions rendered on the timing when certain hazardous materials and alleged hazardous wastes may have been disposed of at a historical landfill site in New England. Ultimately the judge granted our team’s motion for summary judgment.Read More
Case 8: Expert Opinion as Basis for Release of Escrow Funds at Northeastern US Chlorinated Solvent Contaminated Site
EXCALIBUR was retained to justify release of escrow funds previously set aside for an industrial property in northeastern United States impacted with chlorinated solvents. Using EXCALIBUR expertise in applicable environmental regulations, engineering and construction costs, and environmental site conditions at an industrial facility, EXCALIBUR developed defensible present value cost estimates for remediating the site used in subsequent negotiations.Read More
EXCALIBUR‘s technically sound and convincing remediation scenario and cost estimating allowed hundreds of thousands of dollars in previously unavailable escrowed funds to be released.
Case 9: Expert Opinion, High-Profile Litigation Involving Compliance with “All Appropriate Inquiry” Requirements
EXCALIBUR was retained by a confidential client as a third-party expert to help defend against litigation seeking cost contributions to the cleanup of contaminated property already leased or acquired by the plaintiffs. Central to our task was to assess and opine whether the plaintiffs’ pre-acquisition site-specific environmental assessments of the property had constituted a Phase I environmental site assessment in conformance with the ASTM Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I ESA Process in effect at the time (ASTM E1527-05), and were consistent with the requirements of “all appropriate inquiry.” In addition, Excalibur addressed whether the plaintiffs conducted their Phase I ESA or other form of environmental assessment before leasing or acquiring the real property assets. Of particular interest was whether the plaintiffs reasonably, prudently, and fully evaluated the historical uses of and potential contamination liability associated with the subject parcels before negotiating and executing leases for any of parcels in question.Read More